Hull College Library (When silence doesn’t mean silence)

Posted: December 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

With no further bookings, until early February, I had made it my intention to crack on with my initial draft of my dissertation this and next week. To ensure that I actually studied for a sustained period of time, uninterrupted, my intention was to attend the College Library at Queens Gardens where there is a specific quiet room for HE students to study in peace and away from the main area which is certainly not conducive to quality peaceful study. With children accommodated for I set off for town and my alleged haven of silent learning pleasure for the day.

This specific learning area is clearly marked from the outside as only for HE students and as such mostly seems to be nearly empty when I have been within the library. Today was no exception and, upon entering, I found myself to be the third person in there. The room is essentially divided into 3 sections of booths with 50% having a college PC within with the remainder being empty for individuals like myself who have their own laptops or requiring space to read larger literature items. The first two people in had consciously or unconsciously situated themselves within the first two sections so leaving as much space between them. I followed suit and seated myself in the remaining section that was devoid of habitation and set about prepping up. With laptop, notes, pad and pen at the ready and Moodle accessed I began searching for literature pertaining to my dissertation title.

After several minutes I was nicely settled into my first literature when the doors to the room opened. What followed made me feel, initially, like someone was playing a prank yet sadly this was all too real.

A female, whom I would guess to be in her late teens, dressed like she had slept in the clothes she wore, tousled long hair in need of a brush and carrying two bags shuffled into the room. Having looked up and seen her, as you do, I restarted my reading and thought nothing more of her until………..yes you guessed it she sat in the booth next to me, not on one of the empty row opposite me or indeed with or near any of the other two females in the room but next to me. Normally an essence of deodorant or perfume will accompany people yet the quite nauseating “these clothes, and possibly the wearer, need a wash” smell began to scrabble about my nostrils.

She rather unceremoniously dumped the bags she was carrying onto the desk and began what I could only describe as noisily ¬†emptying some or all of the contents within her chosen booth. Obviously setting up for study takes a moment or too and so I sat there waiting for her to finish, which after a few minutes she did, thus peace was restored and I again began reading. Moments later the sound of rustling and then “CRUNCH” followed by the sound of what I could only describe as hearing an animal eating. Another rustle was followed by a second “CRUNCH” and subsequently followed by the horrendous sound of someone eating food without the ability or etiquette to close their mouth whilst doing so. This continued for a few mouthfuls before I casually leaned back to see which product it was that was causing the racket. I noted a large enough bag of crisps to feed a herd of cows tucked into a Sainsbury’s carrier bag on the desk and two bottles of orange Tango sat next to it. The owner of the food and creator of noisy eating noted my looking and leaned forward into her booth like some prehistoric humanoid protecting their prized hunt food. To put it politely the crunching continued for several minutes before this individual felt the need to clear their pallet with some Tango. Now lets clear something up quickly in that these bottles were the screw top bottles that allow any consumer to sip or pour the contents quietly and efficiently into their mouth. Would this animal sat next to me manage this simple task………Nooooooooooooo it was as if there was a Dyson wet/dry hoover sucking some liquid from a tiled floor in an room renowned for its echo and reverberation properties. This female, sadly, has either never been educated in how to eat and drink politely, chose not to listen about how to eat and drink politely or just has no concept of how to conduct herself in public. After several slurps, crunches and open mouthed chewing episodes one of the other females peered over the top of the booths in what I could only describe as an attempt to see where the noise disturbance was coming from. I made a gesture, with my head, to indicate the source and once she had located the culprit she simply gave me a wry smile and shook her head before sitting down again.

Now at this point you would be pretty sure that things couldn’t get any worse from a solitary individual however you would be wrong. Next came the headphones which she plugged into the computer provided at her desk before that all too sound of “tsk tsk tsk” the tinny beat which escapes from in ear headphones began. If this had been anywhere else I would have been looking for the cameras and potential pranksters by now but this was real, she was real, her ignorance was real and my blood was now starting to boil. Could someone be so rude and oblivious as to the distraction they were causing? It would seem so.

A few minutes later the young lady sat across from me stood up, packed her stuff away, looked across at the ignorant dustbin sat next to me, shook her head and left. At this point I sat back, looked at this individual and received what I could only describe as a look of death back at me. An almost sneer of distain that I had looked at her twice in only a few minutes yet totally oblivious why.

At this point I thought about sourcing a librarian to ask this individual to cease from the ongoing noise fest that it was emanating to the room. Upon my exit the female who had just left, now standing near the stairs, made a comment about library etiquette and the thing within the HE room. I stated that I was going to ask for someone to speak to her and I was sadly introduced to a sign on the door that basically requesting that anyone eating and drinking within the room use the bins provided. Now what is the point of having a quiet learning room for students when anyone can just sit there chomping away on food and slurping away on a drink whilst others try to study and learn?

My tolerance and patience of such individuals had now been exceeded and having simply wasted my time travelling into Hull to give myself some uninterrupted learning in an alleged quiet area I simply marched back into the room, packed my things and returned home.

If this individual represents the future then I weep for personal standards.

The irony to all this is that I had set myself the goal of a minimum of 500 words, per day, this week and next to create a credible draft dissertation for my tutor. One ignorant student with no care for personal hygiene, eating habits or how to conduct herself in public put paid to that yet spawns a 1k blog rant word count. If only my dissertation would flow from my fingers with such ease.

Time for lunch then some home study.

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